Water Resources: Regional Water-Energy Nexus and Climate Change

Technical Report

Author(s): Flores, F. ; Galaitsi, S. ; Yates, D.
Year: 2016

This paper explores the vulnerability of the Arabian Peninsula’s water resources to climate change, with the overall goal of better understanding the water-energy nexus challenge in the region. This required the use of an analytical framework capable of accounting for water, energy and climate interactions in an integrated way.

Two systems were deployed: SEI’s Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) and SEI’s Long Range Energy Alternatives and Planning (LEAP). WEAP and LEAP are integrated modeling tools that can track water and energy resources associated with extraction, production and consumption throughout the region’s economy. That includes seawater desalination, groundwater pumping and the transmission of water.

The analysis considered a planning period of 2010 through 2060 with a scenario explorer approach. The results confirm that green growth objectives will increase the resilience of the water-energy nexus in the region under climate change. Moreover, this can be achieved cost-effectively. Specifically, the pursuit of an economic diversification agenda (as has been prominently reported recently by some countries in the region) that employs a green growth framework can lead to significant environmental benefits.

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